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Rev. 12/16/01, 31 August 2003, 2007-05-29, 2008-10-18, 2009-06-21
|Factory Tools||Forks||Lamp workers||My Grippers|
There are many tools, often created in a studio or factory environment, which serve the purpose of handling glass more easily or quickly or reliably, replacing a punty or gloves. These have been given various names including Gimmick, Sabot, and Snap.
The images to right show a 3 bladed expanding tool inside a cylinder of glass to allow shaping of the other end. (From and shown in use in Lambert's YouTube video)
|Some of these are simple forks covered with fiberglass or frax to carry a goblet, vase, or mug to the annealer. In a book on glass working at the turn of the century there is a picture of a padded punty that fits inside a vase to hold it as a foot is applied. These forks are mine from rebar, also used for small crucibles. Other special punties I have made are here: toolmakg.htm#SPPUN|
|One common tool designed in various sizes is a pronged gripper that is used, in the smallest form to hold a marble while reducing the last punty mark, in a medium size to hold the base of goblets as an alternative to a punty, and in a large size to hold a footed base vase or pitcher while handles are attached. Basically the design is a tube forming a handle that aligns thin curved spring hooks. Marble holders are commonly made with wire hooks, medium sized with flat spring stock. The hooks can be installed inside the tube or guided outside. arrow springs hot fingers Or [Right] as shown at 2003 G.A.S. Conference.] 2008-10-20|
My project is to build a medium sized gripper for goblets and large marbles. My method is to use the flat spring steel sold for replacement "fish tapes" used for pulling electrical wires through walls. This metal is about 1/16" thick and 1/8" wide and a replacement reel is 50 to 200 feet long, mine being 50 feet. http://www.nationalwholesaletools.com/50ftfishtape.aspx
My design is to use a threaded rod running down most of the length of the tube, with wing nut or large knurled nut at the back end to tighten the grip. The natural curve of the fish tape is used to spread the prongs and I will try to make it work with the careful placement of the prongs on the mount to the rod to hold alignment. I may have to add a guide head to keep the prongs at 120 degrees to each other. Placement of the prongs is critical because if they project (even slightly) different amounts, then they will not hold the piece in line with the center of rotation. My method of dealing with this is to carefully construct a disk with a center shaft quite perpendicular that will be held by the prongs while assembly is going on during which the alignment of the shaft with the tubing will be maintained.
Part of the alignment process will be simplified by using a thin wall brass tube as a connector between the prongs and the threaded rod. The prongs will hold themselves by their own tension in the tube as they are adjusted for concentric holding, and then solder (or epoxy) can be added to lock the location. 2007-05-29
picture at right shows the first execution of the idea, which reveals several
flaws and a few good ideas. This is built of 3/8" NPT black iron pipe
(which has rusted)
Contact Mike Firth